Catfishing: The dangers of online deception

Hope Beelman, IV Leader Editor

Although many individuals pursue catfishing online due to loneliness, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence in their physical appearance, those on the receiving end of their actions are typically left incredibly hurt and manipulated. Catfishing revolves around the act of deceiving others online by creating a fake identity on social media as well as other platforms.

Additional reasons people may choose to catfish others include seeking revenge and/or financial assistance; however, personal insecurities tend to be the most common as catfishing allows individuals to connect with others without worrying about their appearance. This form of online deception can be dangerous to those on both sides as victims of catfishing may experience negative impacts on their mental health.

Furthermore, many may develop trust issues in other relationships after being catfished as victims tend to fall in love with someone who does not exist in these situations. Increases in anxiety and depression may be present as well. Those who become extremely involved with someone who is catfishing them may experience embarrassment and regret after the relationship ends.

Individuals can spot a catfish by looking for the following signs: lack of friends and/or photos on social media, refusing to talk on the phone, and a story that does not seem to add up. Online deception through catfishing can be very harmful to everyone’s mental health, so it is important for individuals to take the time they need to reflect on the situation.

Despite the countless episodes of MTV’s “Catfish” being aired and watched by many, this type of online deception is ultimately unavoidable. However, it is essential for everyone to remember the effects of catfishing as it can cause extreme damage to others in many different aspects of life. By being cautious online, individuals may be capable of preventing more instances of catfishing in the future